The Best UK Summer Festivals 2019
As ever it’s shaping up to be a bumper year when it comes to summer festivals packed with great music acts. And there’s an incredible array of choices, with something for everyone from electro heads to lovers of the independent scene, even those who want a bit of surf with their tunes. Here’s our UK summer festival guide 2019 so you can find out the very best fest to fit you.
When: 3rd – 5th May
Where: Baltic Triangle, Liverpool
Highlights: Mabel, Loyle Carner, Shame, The Magic Gang.
What is it?: If you’re looking for a place to see some of the best emerging acts around then Sound City is for you. The focus is firmly on local talent here, with new musicians from the area championed, while bigger acts like Loyle Carner make up the headline spots.
When: 9th – 11th May
Where: Various locations, Brighton
Highlights: Foals, Lewis Capaldi, Anna Calvi, Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes, Indoor Pets, Fat White Family.
What is it?: The place to discover the freshest musical acts. For well over a decade The Great Escape has been responsible for bringing the best new bands and musicians to the forefront. Look no further than recent MALESTROM interviewees Amyl & the Sniffers.
When: 24th – 26th May & 31st May – 2nd June
Where: Victoria Park, London
Highlights: The Chemical Brothers, Bon Iver, Christine and the Queens, The Strokes, Bon Iver, Mac Demarco, Bring Me The Horizon, Mumford & Sons.
What is it?: It’s the second year of this new festival featuring 10 days of music and entertainment held over two weekends.
When: 7th – 8th June
Where: Meridien Water, Enfield, London
Highlights: Skepta, Deerhunter, Jorja Smith, Diplo, The Black Madonna, Modeselektor, Jungle, Pusha T, Octavian, Julia Holter
What is it?: This embarrassment of riches when it comes to urban acts moves to an exciting new location this year. The Drumsheds in Enfield has 10 acres of outdoor space and four gigantic interlinking warehouses, it also boasts the loudest festival sound system in the capital and revellers can party till 3am.
When: 13th – 16th June
Where: Newport, Isle of Wight
Highlights: Noel Gallagher, George Ezra, Biffy Clyro, Courteeners, Richard Ashcroft, Lily Allen, Sam Fender.
What is it?: The UK’s longest-running music festival is over fifty years old. The hallowed stage has famously played host to legends like Hendrix and The Doors and fittingly this year’s themes is Summer of ‘69 – Peace and Love.
When: 14th – 16th June
Where: Donington Park, Leicestershire
Highlights: Def Leppard, Slipknot, Tool, Slash, Smashing Pumpkins, Whitesnake
What is it?: The most rocking festival in the UK as ever features some legends in its line up this year. Aside from the likes of Slipknot and Smashing Pumpkins metal royalty Slayer will be making their final UK appearance.
When: 26th – 30th June
Where: Worthy Farm, Somerset
Highlights: The Cure, Tame Impala, Janelle Monáe, Christine and the Queens, Stormzy, Kylie Minogue, Janet Jackson.
What is it?: The world’s most famous fest returns after a fallow year. Tickets went long ago but you can avoid the inevitable mud and watch all the comings and goings on the BBC.
When: 12th – 13th July
Where: Gunnersbury Park, London
Highlights: Solange, Chance the Rapper, Giggs, 2Chainz, Cypress Hill, J Hus, Four Tet, Slow Thai.
What is it?: The best fest to see the finest rap and hip hop acts going. Last years move to Gunnersbury Park hasn’t harmed this most urban of fests, off the back of Wu-Tang Clan headlining last year, this time they have Beyonce’s little sis backed by renowned rapper Chance.
When: 10th – 14th July
Where: Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
Highlights: Boy George, Jessie J, Tom Odell, Bjorn Again, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
What is it?: The UK’s only black-tie festival is an unashamed posh do. But that doesn’t mean it’s a sedate affair. Make sure you take insurance out on any tux rentals, because once the bubbly starts flowing it’s bound to get messy.
When: 18th – 21st July
Where: Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire
Highlights: Kraftwerk, New Order, Hot Chip, Jon Hopkins, Kate Tempest, 808 State, Sons of Kemet.
What is it?: The UK’s most intergalactic festival that fuses music, science, arts and culture. Knutsford’s iconic Jodrell Bank Observatory is the perfect backdrop for this most cosmic of summer festivals.
When: 18th – 21st July
Where: Henham Park, Suffolk.
Highlights: Neneh Cherry, Lana Del Ray, Underworld, Sigrid, Primal Scream, Baxter Dury.
What is it?: Along with some great music this Suffolk-based festival has a variety of theatre, comedy and dance acts to keep everyone thoroughly entertained.
When: 25th – 28th July
Where: Pikehall, Derbyshire
Highlights: Elbow, Foals, Wolf Alice, You Me At Six, Echo and the Bunnymen, Mike Skinner DJ set.
What is it?: Back for its 14th-year, this indie fest set in the beautiful surroundings of the Derbyshire Peak District is the perfect antidote to all the city-based festivals taking place this year. Good vibes, good views and plenty of mid-summer music.
When: 1st – 4th August
Where: Hever, Kent
Highlights: The Vaccines, Craig David, Mystery Jets, Indoor Pets, Professor Green, Sleeper.
What is it?: This multi award-winning immersive music and art event is as much a magical kingdom as a festival. The picturesque John Darlings Farm is where all the action takes place and it promises to be another unforgettable experience for attendees.
When: 7th – 11th August
Where: Watergate Bay, Cornwall
Highlights: Wu-Tang Clan, Florence + the Machine, Foals, Dizzee Rascal, The Wombats, Giggs.
What is it?: If you fancy five days of music and surfing on the Cornish coast then Boardmasters is for you. Take in huge headliners like Wu-Tang, or if you fancy more relaxing pursuits you can get involved in yoga sessions and wellbeing workshops.
When: 7th – 11th August
Where: South Downs National Park, Hampshire
Highlights: Ms Lauryn Hill, The Streets, Prophets of Rage, Chronixx, Chase & Status, Groove Armada.
What is it?: One of the most radical festivals in the UK, boasting a pop-up city within a festival. This brilliant independent event set in the Matterley bowl in Hampshire is entering its eleventh year, or chapter as they say, and is an immersive experience that at times is like a living breathing performance piece.
When: 15th – 18th August
Where: Abergavenny, Wales
Highlights: Father John Misty, Four Tet, Eels, Sharon Von Etten, Stereolab, Idles, Car Seat Headrest, Pigs x7.
What is it?: Wales’ biggest music fest is also one of the most relaxed and eclectic in the UK. There’s plenty to like about Green Man, aside from the stunning location they have a knack of curating great line ups with this year being no exception to that rule.
When: 16th – 18th August
Where: Glemham Hall, Suffolk
Highlights: Richard Thompson, Cara Dillon & Friends, Karine Polwart Trio
What is it?: One of the finest and quirkiest folk fest destinations in the UK launched in 2012 and has continued to grow ever since. FolkEast is a cross-arts celebration of song, dance, crafts and all things musical.
When: 23rd – 25th August
Where: Southsea Seafront, Portsmouth
Highlights: Rudimental, Two Door Cinema Club, Final Headliner, Doves, The Specials, James Bay, The Hives, Clean Bandit, The Zutons, Bloc Party.
What is it?: The UK’s biggest metropolitan, family friendly fest was founded in 2011 and continues to bring in the crowds. Over the August Bank Holiday Weekend, the picturesque Southsea Seafront plays host to an array of top musical acts, with New Order and Rudimental among the headliners.
When: 29th Aug – 1st Sep
Where: Larmer Tree Gardens, Salisbury
Highlights: Beirut, Courtney Barnett, Sleaford Mods, Michael Kiwanuka, Metronomy, Jarvis Cocker, Mitski.
What is it?: One of the last and very best stops on the festival circuit. Independent acts are championed at this friendly fest that wins bucket loads of awards and deserves every one of them.
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